Notas ao café…

Censura e economia

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Janeiro 20, 2010

Chappatte, «NZZ am Sonntag»

Jordan Calinoff na Foreign Policy e Zachary Karabell na Time parecem compartilhar opiniões semelhantes sobre o que se passa na China com o Google e outras empresas não chinesas de serviços de Internet. A censura que estas são alvo não são apenas uma forma de controlar os cidadãos mas também, devido ao interesse económico que Internet tem, uma forma de defender a própria industria chinesa afastando a competição. Escreve Karabell:

[…] The rap on China’s growth is that there’s lots of building and selling but not much innovation. In many areas of the economy, that’s true — and the same could have been said for the growth of the United States at the end of the 19th century. But in the areas of media and the Internet, it isn’t. There, China has a thriving culture of thirtysomething entrepreneurs, many with U.S. work experience, who are creating home-grown franchises catering to the burgeoning world of the web in China. Baidu, the rival search engine to Google, is most in the news lately; others include web portal and entertainment companies Sina and Netease; on-line, multi-user gaming company Shanda (which recently made an acquisition of an American gaming company and plans to expand to the United States); internet and mobile applications giant Tencent; and a host of others, some public, some still in start-up mode.

These companies have a distinct advantage over foreign competitors because their founders and senior managers are part of the same elite class as the regulators who enforce the various and mostly unwritten rules of censorship. They have offices in Beijing, and they lobby the Chinese government through uncharted back channels and are in what amounts to a continuous dialogue about what is and what is not acceptable. This includes not only political censorship but morals — especially relating to porn and sex. Google may have hired its own cadre of Chinese executives but it — like Yahoo and eBay before — has always played catch-up to the more connected crowd of Chinese entrepreneurs and their companies.


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